International Forum: Financing rail projects in Africa

19-21 October 2023, Dakar, Senegal

Under the high patronage of the President of the Republic of Senegal
Venue : International Conference Center, Dakar Diamniadio


The development of the African transport system involves the development of specifications for African networks, technical governance of large rail areas and the mobilization of funding. Rail will obviously be the backbone of this mobility chain, and is an important asset for African integration and the development of trade as expressed in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

It is in this context that the International Union of Railways (UIC) and the National Senegalese Railways Company (CFS) are organizing an International Forum for the Financing of rail projects in Africa in the context of the railway renaissance and sustainable development.


This Forum is organized in order to: (i) encourage ownership of rail development in Africa; (ii) bring together and mobilize rail sector stakeholders, political decision-makers, rail company and industry representa-tives, technical bodies, rail experts, economists, key players in financing; (iii) identify major national and international investment projects; (iv ) identify financing mechanisms; (v) strengthen public-private partnerships and (vi) develop cooperation between states through strategic support for regional and subregional projects.


D-1 : Wednesday 18 October 2023


  • Welcome
  • Presentation of Forum badges and documents
  • Cocktail reception

Day 1: Thursday 19 October 2023

8am-9am - Registration and Welcome Coffee

9am-9.45am - Offical Opening - Under the Chairmanship of the Head of State

  • Introductory remarks by Mr. Mansour FAYE, Minister of Infrastructure of Senegal
  • Speech by Dr Kamugisha KAZAURA, Director for Infrastructure and Energy, African Union Commission
  • Speech by Mohamed Rabie KHLIE, Chairman of UIC-Africa
  • Speech by François DAVENNE, UIC Director General
  • Speech by His Excellency Macky SALL, President of the Republic of Senegal

9.45am-10.15am - Media Briefing, photo of the group, Coffee Break

10.15am-11.15am - Session 1: Rail renaissance in Senegal and Western Africa
With the participation of experts from Africa

  • From privatization to renaissance
  • Major investment projects
  • A success story: the Dakar TER
    • Jean-Pierre FARANDOU, General Director, SNCF
  • A flagship project: Dakar-Tambacounda fast track
    • Abdou Ndéné SALL, General Director, SEN-TER
  • Examples from West Africa
    • Fidet OKHIRIA, Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Corporation
    • Yan OWUSU, CEO, Ghana Railway Development Authority
    • Nouroundine TRAORE, General Director, COGEFER
    • Ibrahima N’Dairy DIALLO, General Director, SNCFG

11.15am-12.15pm - Session 2: Development of Railway Corridors and Regional Integration

  • Presentation of Agenda 2063 and Roadmap by the AUC
    • Eric NTAGENGERWA, Head of Transport, Infrastructure and Energy, African Union Commission
  • Presentation on rail corridors in West Africa :
    • Jonas GBIAN, Commissioner in charge of the Community, Spatial Planning and Transport Department, WAEMU
    • Mr. Sediko DOUKA, Commissioner Infrastructure, Energy and Digitization Department, ECOWAS
  • Summary of the UIC study on the rail component of Agenda 2063
    • Mr. François DAVENNE, UIC Director General
  • Presentation on rail corridors in Africa :
    • Mr. Simplice ESSOH, Directeur Central Développement, SITARAIL
    • Mr. Ignace N’GANGA, DG, CFCO
    • Mr. Christian MAGNI, DG, SETRAG
    • Mr. Phillip MAINGA, DG, KRC
    • Mr. Fabien MUTOMB, DG SNCC

12.15pm-2.15pm - Lunch

2.15pm-3.15pm - Session 3: Technical part: Technical governance of large railway areas
With the participation of:

  • Mr. Josef DOPPELBAUER , Executive Director, European Railway Agency
  • Mr. Khalid AL OLAYAN, Director of the Directorate of Transportation at the Economic Affairs Sector, The Gulf Cooperation Council
  • Mr. François DAVENNE, UIC Directeur General
  • Mr. Taoufik BOUFAIED, Chairman, Union of African Railways

3.15pm-4.15pm - Session 4: How to mobilize finance for rail infrastructure ?
Introduction by

  • Mr. Malick NDOYE, General Director, CFS: first lessons learnt from financing of projects in Senegal
  • Mr. Mohamed Rabie KHLIE, General Director, ONCF: Projects in Morocco : Al Boraq

Round table with

  • Mr. Olivier BUYOYA, Regional Director for West Africa, International Finance Corporation (IFC)
  • Mr. Jean-Francois MARTEAU / Mr. Ibou DIOUF, Transport Practice Managers for West Africa, World Bank Group
  • Mr. Marco YAMAGUCHI MASAHIDE, Division Manager, African Development Bank (AfDB)
  • Mr. Mohamed DIOP, Regional Director Atlantic Africa, AGL
  • Mr. José CORDOVILLA, Director of Infrastructure Advisory Services, TYPSA
  • Prof. Khumbulani MPOFU, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa

4.15pm-5.45pm Panels B to B

  • African railway companies
  • International private sector
  • Development banks
  • International institutions

Closing ceremony

5.45pm-6pm - Coffee Break

8pm-10pm - Official Diner

Day 2: Friday 20 October 2023

8.30am-9am- Welcome Coffee

9am-10am - Financing rolling stock and combating climate change: an alternative or a necessity

  • Lucie ANDERTON, Head of Sustainability, UIC
  • M. Adam BRUUN, Head of Regional Office, European Investment Bank, for Senegal, Cabo Verde, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Mauritania
  • Abdi ZENEBE, CEO Ethio-Djibouti railways (EDR)
  • Masanja KADOGOSA, Director General, Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC)
  • Sizakele MZIMELA, CEO Transnet Freight Rail (TFR)
  • Robert LISINGE, Chief of the Energy, Infrastructure and Services Section, UNECA
  • Howard ROSEN, Rail Working Group, Luxembourg Protocol

10am-12pm - The Investors’ Forum
9am-11am Keynote speakers

  • Olivier BUYOYA, Regional Director for West Africa, International Finance Corporation (IFC)
  • Jean-Francois MARTEAU / Ibou DIOUF, Transport Practice Managers for West Africa, World Bank Group, World Bank Group

Round table with :
Investors, banks, industries and authorities:

Moderator : Ms. Lucie ANDERTON

  • African Ministers of transport
  • Mr. Bernard PEILLE, General Director, Southern Africa Region, ALSTOM
  • Mr. Sunil RAMAKRISHNAN, Global Council for Investment and Business for Africa, Vice Chair of the Advisory Board
  • Mr. Admassu TADESSE, President Emeritus & Group Managing Director, Trade Development Bank Group
  • Dr Günther BRÄUNIG, CEO, KfW Development Bank
  • Mr. George KAULBECK, Partner and Global Director, Transport, CPCS Consulting
  • Mr. Rémy RIOUX, CEO, French Development Agency, (FDA)

12pm-12.20pm - Closing Session

  • His Excellency Amadou BA, The Prime MInister of the Republic of Senegal

12pm-2pm - Lunch

2pm-5pm Panels B to B

5pm-5.30pm - Coffee Break

Day 3 Saturday 21 October 2023


  • Technical visits (Dakar train station, TER Operations Center (COF), CFS workshops)
  • Dakar Cultural Tour (Museum and Black Civilization, African Renaissance Monument, Remembrance Square, Gorée Slave House, etc.)


The main results expected from this Forum are:

  • Better integration of rail projects and Agenda 2063 "The Africa We Want" into na-tional development strategies
  • Better consideration of specifications for African networks
  • Technical support for African rail development
  • Training efforts
  • Fund-raising support for investment projects
  • Roundtables on rail investment opportunities in Africa
  • B to B meetings
  • Partnership agreements signed
  • Contacts with potential national and international partners.


Sponsorships with investors.


400 to 500 participants are expected

English & French





The Forum will be held at the Centre International de Conférence Abdou DIOUF de Dakar in Diamniadio (CICAD). This new town is located 36 km from Dakar. Shuttle buses will take participants from their hotels to the TER station and then to the Conference Center.

For participants staying in Dakar, a TER train will be available on Forum days at Dakar Railway Station. Further information will be available soon.

Visa formalities/procedures
West African and European Union States are exempt from visas and fees. Passports must be valid for at least six months after the date of travel.

Other visitors require an entry visa. It is preferable to start visa procedures with Senegalese embassies and high commissions as early as possible, as some airlines may require this before allowing you to board. You can also obtain a visa on arrival at Blaise DIAGNE International Airport. The standard fee for ordinary visas is US$50.

Delegates from African railways will receive a letter for the airlines allowing them to board without a visa. However, those transiting through other countries are advised to check the regulations in force in these transit countries before departure, to avoid any inconvenience during transit.

Arrival at the airport
A welcome committee will be set up at Blaise DIAGNE airport.

Travel arrangements
The currency used in Senegal is the CFA Franc. The exchange rate, as of September 2023, is 1 euro = 656 CFA F and 1 US dollar = 611 CFA F. A currency exchange service is available at the airport and in hotels.
Numerous ATMs are available in the city’s hotels, shopping malls and boutiques, and accept almost all internationally recognized credit and debit cards affiliated with SCT, Visa and Master Card.
The time zone in Dakar is 00 GMT.
The average temperature in Dakar in October is 28°C. This coincides with the end of the rainy season, and humidity is relatively high. Temperatures can peak at around 33°C. Light cotton clothing is therefore recommended.

Please find a non-exhaustive list of hotels in Dakar and more practical information in the document below:



Maria Lafont,

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Tuesday 25 April 2023